David Bowie Is… on exhibition in Melbourne

David Bowie Is… would have to be the definitive tribute to one of the world’s greatest music icons, gender benders, and pioneer of the visual arts. And for the record, we mean David Bowie Is… – the book – and the exhibition currently on from July at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne.

Bowie’s career has so far spanned 50 years. In the musical realm alone the guy has certainly impressed, selling over 140 million albums and countless singles the world over.

But David Bowie Is… goes way beyond the music behind the man of many faces, traversing Bowie’s influences in the fashion arena, the visual arts, and across all media including electronic.

Costumes are very much a focus, with detailed presentations of some of Bowie’s most iconic outfits – from his wild and vibrant orange Ziggy Stardust attire, through his spaced-out Pierrot look (that appeared in his Ashes To Ashes video), to the classy suits worn in his early days as part of The Kon-rads, the wardrobe on display at ACMI is well worthy of gallery-like presentation.

Which is why we’re presenting a few of the cooler looks here.

The exhibition, which was first held at the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum in London, also draws upon unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive of obscure objects, album artwork, instruments and memorabilia. In fact there are more than 300 pieces on display, including rare photographs, stage sets, lyric sheets, previously unseen videos, filmed live shows, and audio interviews with key collaborators of the coinciding book.

Quite simply, David Bowie Is… makes any rock’n’roll exhibition staged before it pale in comparison. And yes, that’s paler than the Thin White Duke himself.  Antonino Tati


‘David Bowie Is…’ – the exhibition – is now open at ACMI and runs through to November 1. More information and ticketing details at Part of the exhibition is ‘David Bowie on Film’ curated by Kristy Matheson which runs from August 20 to September 20.

Oh, and also available is ‘David Bowie Is…’ – the book –  in deluxe hardback through Bloomsbury Publishing, RRP $69.99.


[Image, top of story:]

Album cover shoot for ‘Aladdin Sane’, 1973.

Photograph by Brian Duffy.

© Duffy Archive / The David Bowie Archive.


Cr 02 @2x David Bowie, 1973.

Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita.

© Sukita / The David Bowie Archive.




Promotional photograph of David Bowie for ‘Diamond Dogs’, 1974.

Photograph by Terry O’Neill.

© Victoria and Albert Museum.



Cr 04 @2x

Original photography for the ‘Earthling’ album cover, 1997.

Photograph by Frank W Ockenfels 3.

© Frank W Ockenfels 3.



Cr 05

Publicity photograph for The Konrads, 1966.

Photograph by Roy Ainsworth. Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive.

© Victoria and Albert Museum.



Bowie Film

Image from ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’.

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